Friday, 27 November 2015

A "Thank You" Scarf for Mrs S

It's the end of the school year (Yeayyyy!!) and I like giving a small gift to my son's teachers in their Foundation Phase years.  Last year I went a bit wild and crocheted SEVEN gifts - but then we were leaving the preschool after six beautiful years.

My youngest started gr 1 and he had a lovely teacher.  Mrs S is the old-fashioned type you want your child to have in their first year of schooling, properly teaching them their ABC's and counting, bonds and phonics, and he's  learnt and grown really well under her guidance.

I took note through the year that she is a scarf-wearing women.

You know, the type we hookers like.  

And blue is her colour.  

And luckily I met Yuli this year, and got to know her very beautiful pattern named the Thank You it was just the matter of finding the right blue, which came in the form of Vinnis Colours Serina in Pale Sky.

Bought the Pale Sky beauties en route to our Get Hooked! get-together atThe Blue Shed

With all the beautiful blues available in Vinni's range, I don't think there's a prettier one than Pale Sky!  It is just darn difficult to photograph, because just as with the real sky, the colour seems to keep changing. 

The Thank You Scarf is a pretty, easy pattern, and came out perfectly with my nr 4 hook.

I could easily sit and hook while watching the fun of learning-to-sail

 My yarn ran out just one row short of a full repeat, but I left it at that as it was also a natural end. 

The yarn's softness and my loose tension resulted in a light, softer-that-soft scarf that I would have loved to keep!

Trying it on quickly

The motif blocked our beautifully.  I would love to have one myself! I think I might make a five motif repeat then. 

And then it was done and time to wrap it up.  

(I posted this photo on my IG feed - where I took my photos of Anything On A Hanger :-)
I remove the bottom portrait, hang my item from the nail, get as close as possible while still keep the top portrait and door out of the frame - and that's my backdrop!)

My little one proudly delivered, together with the five roses and packet of Marie biscuits he insisted on ;-)


Happy Christmas, mam!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Elise Shawl V2.1...yeaaaaah


Yeees, it had to happen, I can pretend all I want BUT.

I was Very Happy with my Elise Shawl V2.

Even though acrylic, the Lollipop worked very nicely, it looked great, I was so happy with the result and i already had a short opportunity to wear it as intended.  

Buuuut somewhere deep inside, I was still conjuring up, it would have been lovely if I could have made it with Rowan Tweed.  That was even before I saw Gotland yarn, and then WYS's Bluefaced Leicester...I stopped surfing right there (birthday lists...birthday angels...).  Locally we have Nurturing Fibers, of which I ordered, but the colour Driftwood was a bit different than I expected - I will use it for another long-since-earmarked pattern).

In the end, the answer was right here all the time  (can you here Survivor belting it out in the background??).

An ooooold favourite.

Right here, in the stash.  

Not one or two balls...



16 x 50g = 800g

Easily more than I have used.  Easily enough for another go at this pattern. 

Perfect colour and texture for this pattern.

Of course!  What else? Colour Clouds.

I've already started working.

We're not talking about any other WIPS, noooo, especially not the two that have to be finished within two weeks...

MIL claimed Elise V2 :-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Elise shawl V.2

And yeay! V.2 of the Elise Shawl is done.  

It is huge.  It is half a blanket.  It is a triangular blanket.  

Which is what I wanted - something to permanently leave in the car for those days when you spend 2-3 hours between school and judo, hurrying up and waiting for the half-hours between the beginnings and endings of the boys' extra-murals and suddenly, as it does here,  it turns cold.
And you have nothing. 

But now, now I can get my huge Elise Shawl in the car and wrap myself in it.

This thing gobbled up 626 g of Lollipop Vezuvo Aran (a very, very nice acrylic. I am a total sucker for natural yarns, but when I have something i the colour thath I want , and it is manmade, but the similar in wool/tweed costs almost 9 times that much...and you have to factor in the 626g...then I happily use the acrylic.  If and when a real wool in this colour with this one black fibre rocks up, and it doesn't cost R92/50g, then we can talk).

It also really hurt my arm.  I'm using an obscene amount of Reparil gel on from the shoulder right past my elbow, and I go to sleep while Mr Diclofenac does its thing :-0

That happens when I work too much, too long over a short period of time!

On Instagram I shared some photos of Where I Worked, because it went Everywhere with me:

Starting life at the dojo

Growing a bit at the wheel-alignment center
(And here Blogger is doing That Thing it sometimes does, hence the huge space...)

It went on a road trip to Oudtshoorn, where it spent some time on the dashboard of the car, on a very hot day...

...resulting in a custom grip on my Prym 6

My MIL took one look at the pattern and said she has something similar.


Made by my husband's grandmother when MIL was a young 17, sometime around the early '60s

There's a tiny difference - 6DCs in the cluster where the Elise has 5, but that is about all. 

And guess what?  Just a couple of days later, I spotted this lady at the entrance to the veggie shop.  I chatted her up right there to take a look and showed her photos of mine.

She said she would really like a purple one

As it is acrylic, I couldn't really block, plus it is too big to try and steam block, so I just rinsed the shawl and hung it out to dry, pegged in a straight line.

There were so many questions about "what is it there at the bottom point of the shawl??"
It's my supersize  pegs, bought at the R5 shop and usually used to peg jeans :-) Here it added weight to pull the point down, without stretching it too much.

I can't wait to try this shawl out.  It's ready, in the car.  But, as luck would have it, we've just come through the hottest October ever recorded in South Africa - and on the rainy days this week, we weren't out in the cold. 

PS - Behind the scenes - this is what it really looked like :-D


It's already dark outside when my son takes a quick shot so I can show my sis! 
I take my pose in front of the stationary cupboard in the homework corner, still sporting my beach shorts of earlier that afternoon.


Ha ha!!

Friday, 23 October 2015

My take on the Elise-shawl

The last couple of years I've been snapping away on our hunting trips, on the beach, in the veld, and noticed a recurring theme...

...starting with this rock rose in the Free State

The next year  when we visited, I noticed it on the aloe as well:

And the thorny cactus thingey on the stoep
(sorry...not into the cactus trend, I don't know the name :-D

 But it's not a new thing.  Remember my Klein Karoo stool cover from this photo?

Can you see it now?

The soft greyish green tipped with pinks?

I kept seeing it everywhere.

Outside a beach house at Gourits:

In the Montagu Pass:

My best ever favourite flower in the Garden Route Botanical Garden:

(look at the stem as well!)

These tiny flowers in the Groot Swartberg near De Rust:

There's no better place for a workshop in colour combination than your nearest outdoors.  

So.  I wanted to make a shawl (having never ever before worn or made a triangular shawl).  It would be greenish and the only colour it could ever be is Vinnis Nikkim Khaki.  Nothing else.  As for the pink tips, I was thinking about a hot pink lacy or tiny tiny edge...then various other pinks came to mind when I started looking through my stash.  In the end I used a softer pink from Elle Premier Cotton.

As for the pattern, I wanted to hook up a lacy shawl, not too difficult, not too holey and the Elise shawl was the obvious one that ticked all the boxes.

I had a whole pile of Khaki squares from trying out patterns for my summer throw and I re-used most of these, so I have no idea of how much yarn went into it!


I love how the green comes alive due to the hand dyeing. 

I started the lacy edge off a diagram from a website in a language that I can't even decipher; it's not Russian, it could be anything.  After the first row I winged it on my own. 

Unblocked I thought it might be too dense:
(hanging off the kitchen counter, held in place by salt & pepper, sugar pots :-D  )

It could have done with a severe block, buuuuut the "neckline" part pulled too tight.  Aaaaand I realised almost 75% of the way through that I not making the tr in the middle of the cluster, but a dc...

So.  After a light block, it came out really pretty, but I would love to see it more opened up.

I was surprised by how comfortable a triangle sits, and would love a wider one, with longer wings.  Therefor, I'm already onto V.2, with the correct cluster, and a slight modification to try and get the wings longer!  This green one is now off to Maak 'n Verskil who also runs a project with Prayer Shawls for cancer patients.  I though this would be quite fitting, as I completed  the shawl during Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the pink ties in with that, while the green would refer to my mom, a Klein Karoo girl, whom we lost to breast cancer 16 years ago.

All the while I'm thinking what I would name this shawl - it should be my Dolly shawl then.
For her :-)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

What I made with Moya Bulky Plush

Moya Yarns was so kind to send me another sample pack - this time the supersoft Bulky Plush.  

Did I mention that it is soft?


I had to make something small (because of the thickness, there are not too many meters on a cake!).  The softness would most likely indicate something for a baby - a beanie, soft blanket or playmat, what about lounging slippers for myself?


There was a project lurking in the depths of my cupboard, wooden hangers waiting oh, so patiently to be covered, and I thought that this new bulky yarn would do that in a jiffy. 

With a yarn this thick, I thought a plain and simple cover would be best.  It wouldn't even need padding underneath!

Ten stitches would do it

It was an easy-peasy project, superquick if you wanted to throw in into MIL's birthbay parcel in a few days!

First one done

I was a bit undecided about the joining - the first one was simply crochet together with SC.  Then I didn't like the ridge so much and thought I'd sew the rest together.


I don't possess a needle thick enough to carry that yarn.

Plus, I didn't leave a tail long enough to do that!

But in some or other way the covers were fitted and joined, embroidery yarn might have been involved.  I decided to leave the metal hooks uncovered - haven't had much joy with the plastic piping available and didn't want to faff with twisting and glueing yarn around the hook.  Simpler is anyways better, don'tya think?

Happy birthday, MIL!

I really enjoyed working with the Moya Bulky Plush.  Bear with my limited knowledge of yarn characteristics - but the brushed cotton-like texture  makes it a joy, no slipping of yarn! It worked up really quick.  My nr 6 hook might not have been the best though - I wanted a dense finish, but in retrospect the nr 7 would have look better.

All in all, I'm a happy hooker and found this yarn absolutely perfect for clothes hangers.  No slipping of blouses off these babies, and no funny marks on a thin cardigan!  There are some ladies who started out on blankets with the bulky plush and I really look forward to see those.

Thank you Hester and Team Moya :-)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Ooooh, I can sometimes fly right away with an idea, just to burn out five minutes later or get lazy, which is not a good thing.  

So I was watching the Rustic Lace frenzy, finding most of the squares utterly beautiful, but in no real need to make one myself (just finished my summer throw in a large lacy square).  But then...then Charlotta (Instagram: intheyarngarden)  accidentally made a triangle and when THAT turned up in my Instagram feed, I could feel gears in my head shifting and clicking and in a mad rush (FOMO, anyone? :-D ) I proceeded to dig out the natural Moya that was earmarked for clothes hangers and let rip, hook flying. 

Until I had two or so complete. First the squares.

Totally different look in one colour!

It's still very pretty, but looks totally different.  And I might have been a bit irritated by the little piece of yarn that was super twisted (look, there at half past six in the photo), but couldn't be bothered to  cut, frog, join up again, or start from scratch. Noooo.

Looking beautiful in the early morning light. 

To divert the quickly waning attention span, I diverted to triangles.  (Did I mention that I made the exact same mistake at my first take on the square? But that mistake doesn't give you a relaxed, flat triangle, so I wanted to plan it properly. )

Out with the pen and paper. 

Frogging and scribbling

I have no intentions of ever coming up with a new crochet pattern for anything, so I literally just wrote the whole pattern out, and estimated possible changes, which would include a cluster or two less here, and some chains extra there, then tried it out and tried again and again and again and again until I got a reasonably flat triangle.


Two triangles on the block.

I figured I'd need three squares and 3 triangles to make up a little mock curtain for one window in our bathroom.  To my dismay, it might have had to be four of each.  So I was getting a bit impatient with myself, as I still had to figure out how to join these, and then how to hang it!

It was around this time that I did a quick, exploratory stroll through a new favourite second had shop and lo and behold, there it was! A crochet piece, by the look of it the perfect size (to the millimeter it was!), just ready for me to hang in the window.  

It was a no-brainer.  

Up it went! Sommer with cup hooks onto the wooden frame. 

Since I was so far with the Rustic Laces (3 each, then) I had to come up with a Plan A for Alternative, which I thought would be the little window in the guest loo.

Helloooo - there's a Roman blind already :-0

I promptly diverted again and started on a long-anticipated shawl.  Then it came to me...Plan B for Buggered...the window in my little craft storage nook upstairs...but I would need 5 of each.  

Stay tuned.

There's a Google-pot full of info on and versions of the Rustic Lace Square, but here's the beautiful blanket that Magda Pigtails made, and she in turn got the idea from Cornel's blanket at HalloHart.

On Instagram, there are 1210 posts of #rusticlacesquare as I write. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Cheap & Cheerful Winners

Our Cheap & Cheerful Challenge has finished!

What a joy to see what these ladies came up with, to show that even some of the cheapest yarns around CAN be used to produce a beautiful blanket.  

Here's the info on the background of Cheap & Cheerful, and my own contribution

and these were the three winners:

Helen's snowflake blanket

Helen chose to work with Chick, the very cheap supermarket acrylic that I also chose, in two blues, grey and white.  Upon finishing the blue and grey motifs, she realised that gaps between these were too large for her liking and  - given the restricted colour choices of Chick - came up with the plan to dye some her acrylic yarn (easier said than done!!).  Google and YouTube came to her aid and she added the brownish motif with white center - and it was as if the blanket was designed to look like that.

I love the unusual colour combination and the handdyed effect on the brown.  Plus the snowflakes brighten everything up.

A beautiful blanket and clever solution.

Brilliant Mommy's stripey C2C

Everybody's seen the Corner to Corner blanket, and many have been making it, right? There have been some beautiful variations, but you haven't seen it all until Helene's came along.

Three colourways of variegated Pullskein scream at each other...until you work it together, alternating after each row. Then it absolutely work, and blend in, the one with the next, into a harmonious, pastel rainbow.

These colours had Ons Hekel swooning.

Lara's chevron

Lara used the same almost shock tactic with her chevron blanket.  Who would put red and pink together with ...brownish and greyish? And yet the colours and stitch patterns mellow together, making the photo jump out from the rest.  

See what can be done?

There's no reason to think you can't make a beautiful item because you don't have great yarn.  Sure, working with Vinnis, I Love Yarn, Malabrigo, Rowan makes it a lot easier, but you can also get by with what you can find at the local co-op or supermarket.

I was so happy to see these three and the other entries.  And all 20 will make a difference as part of the Make A Difference charity, to be distributed come Winter 2016.

Well done ladies, be proud!  And enjoy your gifts packs :-)

(Thank you to Yarn in a Barn, Dalena White of Cape Wools SA, Brilliant Mommy for sponsoring some prices, as well as yarn donors!)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Roadtrippin' and small things spotted

Being married to an after-hours endurance athlete, means a lot of road tripping to nice places, of which my South Africa has no shortage.  So this weekend we went off galavanting to the Trans-Baviaans 24hr Mountain Bike Marathon where  our team of four rode into the mountains, following dirt roads, single tracks, orienteering through the kloofs and slipping down snot-like mud downhill towards thick gravel and potholes.  They started at 10h00 in the Karoo town of Willowmore and had 24 hrs to make to to Jeffreys Bay.  They're allowed only a 1-person logistical support and the checkpoints, and none on the road.   Our novices did quite well, considering one broke his chain in three places, and another had to be medevacked (but is now fine), and they're happy with their finish time of 14:40.

That was at 00h40 in the morning .

We, the Wives of Cyclists,  did what the support team does and that is to take a long, slow drive, and pitstop at nice places along the route :-)

First stop was at The Heath, a favourite for good coffee on the the N2 and a nice spot to find some community project hooky: idea for that basket or straw bag where the bottom corners are getting a bit...worn?

Pretty clutches

Onwards to Old Nick's Village, where I walked with my hands firmly tucked behind my back at Mungo's and just had time for a quick dash through on or two doors...

...where I spotted the lady at Indalo working on these squares!

By that time our boys' support vehicle reported a pitstop at a local church bazaar (fĂȘte) and lo and behold, it was just up the highway and 8 km off behind the mountain, so there we went!

The community of the tiny hamlet of Kareedouw hosts a Fietsfees (Bicycle Festival) during TransBaviaans weekend in the form of a bazaar on the church grounds:

How beautiful are these sandstone churches?

Ja...we had to lurking in the back with the red scarf.

As church bazaars go, there was some craft to be found, and  spotted this beauty of a baby blanket:

Love the sandstone colours.  I might be right in thinking this was done in Elle Premier Cotton DK, a beautiful mercerised cotton yarn.

And again, beautiful work from a community craft project, and I walked away with new washpeg bag and these potholders for me and my sisi:

Some shwe-shwe brightness for my kitchen, with crochet in Elle Premier Cotton

These hand-embroidered proteas will be making their way to Ireland

A most enjoyable, tiring weekend, with very little of my own hooky being done!
Will catch up, hoping for a quiet morning :-)